Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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Man Arrested for Manslaughter
in Shooting that Appeared
Accidental at the Time

Woman Stabs Man in
Left Arm; Arrested

Winn-Dixie Cashier Busted for
Grand Theft by Embezzlement

BPD Dep. Chief Commends
Two Officers for Saving
Woman's Life

Sarasota County Sheriff Knight
Selected for Leadership Florida

Detectives Ask Help to ID
Two Men Who Stole Boat

Truck Reported Stolen,
Recovered, Stolen Again

Mom Left 1-Year-Old in
Hot Car, Cops Say

Tuesday's Local/State News

Monday's Local/State News

 

Top 10 National News Story Briefs and Headlines, with links to the Full Stories

Top 5 World News Story Briefs and Headlines, with links to the Full Stories


Final Tally of 2013 Homicides in Manatee County -- In 2013, there were 13 murders overall in Manatee County; there were 3 murders in unincorporated Manatee County, 9 in the City of Bradenton, and 1 in the City of Palmetto.

Final Tally of 2012 Homicides in Manatee County -- In 2012, there were 27 murders overall in Manatee County; there were 19 murders in unincorporated Manatee County, 4 in the City of Bradenton, and 4 in the City of Palmetto.

Final Tally of 2011 Homicides
In Manatee County --
In 2011, there were 16 murders overall in Manatee County; there were twelve murders in unincorporated Manatee County, two in the City of Bradenton, and two
in the City of Palmetto.

Couple Returns Home From
Honeymoon to Find Home
Covered in Post-It Notes

Holmes Beach Police Dept.
Joins DHSMV to Promote
Child Safety Awareness

(a bi-monthly feature)

The Trouble in Ferguson, Missouri:
I Think the Cop was Wrong

(a weekly feature)

1st Week, Doggie Speak

Household Tip of the Month

BPD Officer of the Month
for Augut 2014 Named:
MPO Jose Santos

Manatee County Sheriff's Employee
Don Brown Named Employee
of the Month for July 2014

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Wednesday Edition

THIS WEEK'S COVER STORY

Operation Cross Country

Recovering Victims of Child Sex Trafficking: Nicole's story


WASHINGTON, D.C. [NMT/FBI] -- In many ways, Nicole was a typical teenager. In high school she tried cigarettes and alcohol, but she says, “I was pretty much a good kid. I didn’t really stay out late, I always came home, I never stole anything. I did what a lot of teenagers do.”

By age 17, however, things were deteriorating at home. Her parents were divorced, her father was absent, and she and her mother had an on-again, off-again relationship. That’s when Nicole met a man who took her shopping and showered her with attention. “He was gorgeous and he had charm,” she said. “I didn’t really think he was going to turn out to be…” Her voice trailed off as she tried to find words to describe Juan Vianez, the pimp who forced her into prostitution and later brutally beat her.

Now 27, Nicole is one of countless young women victimized by child sex traffickers. But with the assistance of the FBI and our partners, she and other victims are turning their lives around -- and helping to put hundreds of pimps behind bars.


Operation Cross Country, an annual law enforcement action that took place in June of this year in 106 U.S. cities, highlights ongoing efforts by the Bureau -- together with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners -- to address the sexual exploitation of juveniles as part of our Innocence Lost National Initiative.

During June, the FBI; its local, state, and federal law enforcement partners; and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) conducted Operation Cross Country VIII, a week-long enforcement action to address commercial child sex trafficking throughout the United States. This operation included enforcement actions in 106 cities across 54 FBI field divisions nationwide and resulted in 168 recoveries of children who were being victimized through prostitution. Additionally, 281 pimps were arrested on state and federal charges.

Since its creation in 2003, the Innocence Lost program has resulted in the identification and recovery of approximately 3,600 minors who have been sexually exploited.

"These are not children living in some faraway place, far from everyday life," FBI Director James Comey said at a press conference on June 23rd at FBI Headquarters. "These are our children. On our streets. Our truck stops. Our motels. These are America’s children."

To address violent crimes against children, the FBI has established nearly 70 Child Exploitation Task Forces around the country, said Special Agent Steve Vienneau. Noting that the task forces rely on partnerships with all levels of law enforcement, Vienneau added, “the FBI could never succeed in this mission alone.” The task forces also include FBI victim specialists from their Office for Victim Assistance -- men and women who play a key role in helping victims while their cases are being investigated and up to and beyond criminal prosecutions.

“We don’t enter any of our victims’ lives at a good time,” said Victim Specialist Dani Geissinger-Rodarte, who works in their Seattle Division and who was instrumental in helping Nicole get away from her pimp and later testify against him. Vianez is serving a 20-year jail term.

“A lot of victims of child prostitution have difficult backgrounds,” Geissinger-Rodarte explained, so victim specialists must assess the girls’ needs before they can begin to help them. “You start with the basics: Do you feel safe at home? Do you have clothing? What’s your interaction with your parents? You assess everything,” she said, “and then you make referrals to community service providers to fill that void or address those issues.”

Sometimes, it’s not easy to convince young victims they need to get away from those who are exploiting them. Nicole, like many trafficked juveniles, was totally dependent on her pimp. “I didn’t have money, I didn’t have a house, I didn’t have a bank account, I didn’t have my own car,” she said. “I didn’t have anything. So if I left Juan, I left everything.”

In 2007, after a vicious beating that left her in the hospital with serious injuries, Nicole met Geissinger-Rodarte -- and over time came to trust her. Eventually, Geissinger-Rodarte connected Nicole with community services and helped her to see there was a future beyond prostitution. “Our job is to meet the victim where they are,” said Geissinger-Rodarte. “When they are ready for help, they need to know we are there.”

Today, Nicole is an honors college student on her way to a psychology degree. She has a job, a driver’s license, a good credit rating, and she just bought a new car. “I am very, very proud of myself,” she said.



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